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Christmas is coming! Aaaargh!! Help!!
BECAUSE what does Christmas mean?
Yet MORE stuff for kids to clutter the house with, that’s what!!
And yes I know – before you think I’m a total Scrooge – lot’s of it, is lovely stuff, in itself.
AND it’s all given with love …
BUT the pure volume of clutter in most of our homes IS a problem!
It really does contribute big time to depression and anxiety.
So how can we enjoy Christmas with our kids without getting all bah humbug about clutter?
Well, this year, I’ve come up with this big old list of no clutter presents for kids.
That I’m sharing with the whole family. AND with you!
The strict rules for these no clutter presents are they must be …
- Growing that can live outside
- Grow and go (you raise them AND then they leave)
- An experience, not a thing …
- A very good quality thing that will last for years AND be used lots
There’s ALL sorts of fab ideas your kids will love. Everything from cool games TO wild adventures!
So here goes …
No Clutter Presents For Kids
Under £5 or FREE
- Ice cream voucher – these go down a storm round us. Check out if your fave local ice cream parlour offers them or make your own.
- Packet of pumpkin seeds – for planting their very own home grown Halloween pumpkin!
- Packet of pea seeds – what kid doesn’t eat peas? Give them the chance to grow their own food.
- Packet of sun flower seeds – sunflowers really are the best FUN flower for kids to grow.
- A good digital game – OK so I’m not the biggest fan of digital games but there are some cool ones. We LOVE the Think Rolls (UK) series from Avokiddo (UK).
- A chess app – and if you’ve got a kid getting into chess, a good app IS the best way to learn!
- iTunes/Google Play Voucher – with a bit of guidance from you, they can chose their own game. There are lots of age by age recommendations for parents at Common Sense Media.
- Fairtrade chocolate – this year I’m spending a little bit more on fair trade chocolate that ACTUALLY does good by paying growers a fair wage. We love these Divine chocolate coins.
- An aural family history – get grandparents to record little stories of their childhood and life so your kids can listen to them whever they like and cherish for ever. I love this idea so much and am really keen to turn it into a family tradition to record something every birthday and Christmas, so those special memories aren’t lost.
- Homemade treat tickets – a Wonka style golden ticket entitling them to a big dollop of the thing they love most – our time! – to go on an adventure, bake, play a game, whatever!
- Homemade cookies – this needn’t mean baking furiously just before Christmas, I’m buying some baked in London to support local jobs rather than hand my money over to the big stores
- Blueberry plant – kids adore blueberries, and you can grow them easily in a pot in even the tiniest back yard or balcony. And they will often fruit the first year – our’s did. If you’re a fellow Brit you can great quality plants from the RHS Shop.
- Audio book – OMG! Audio books for kids are the best thing ever! They can listen to all their faves in the car but also when they’re playing lego or painting or building stuff or just hanging out. The cheapest way to get them is via Audible (UK) credits which you can use to listen to Harry Potter, Roald Dahl, Narnia and much much more for HOURS and HOURS ! So worth it!
- Cinema vouchers – this is our default NO CLUTTER gift now for kids birthday parties.
- Theatre vouchers – we love going to the theatre, but it costs an arm and a leg! So we’re asking for theatre vouchers from aunties and uncles and godparents. You only need 3 or 4 people to spend £10 to £15 to make some great tickets affordable.
- Amazon videos – ditch the DVDs and buy your fave family movies whether it’s Star Wars or Mary Poppins with Amazon movies to watch OVER and OVER clutter free!
- Pizza voucher – another big simple winner! A fab way for kids to treat a friend.
- Mushroom growing kit – mushroom growing kits (UK) are another fab way for kids to grow stuff they can eat! AND yes it takes up space whilst growing. But then it’s gone! No MORE clutter!
- Fave big reads – if you travel a fair bit and hate lugging three enormous volumes of Harry Potter around with you, treat them to the Kindle versions. You don’t need a Kindle to read them – just put the FREE Kindle app on your tablets and phones.
- A sapling – if you’ve got a little Lorax fan buy them their very own sapling to nurture. In the UK they start under £15 at the RHS. And EVEN in a tiny outdoor space they can grow a dwarf apple.
- Butterfly raising kit – these butterfly kits (UK) are so cool! Watch your caterpillars grow and magically transform. And after 6 weeks on the kitchen table, they’re gone! No MORE clutter.
- Ladybird raising kit – or if you’ve done butterflies get a ladybird kit. They do their own super cool transformation AND when released protect your garden from pesky aphids!
- Super cool reference books – searching for child friendly reference material online is a pain BUT big books soon clutter bedrooms so treat them to some of these seriously cool kids reference books on Kindle (accessible on any tablet via FREE Kindle app) ..
- The very best picture books – transform screen time for littlies with CLUTTER FREE Kindle versions of the BEST kids picture books …
- A one off lesson for something cool – doesn’t have to be something they will do forever just something cool and different to try out like
- Horse riding
- Ice skating
- Dry slope skiing
- Rock climbing
- Adopt a zoo animal – nearly all zoos everywhere offer an adopt an animal program. It’s a great – no clutter! – way to engage your kids with nature.
- Adopt a museum exhibit – and you can also adopt museum exhibits. We have adopted a crocodile AND a shark in London’s amazing Grant Museum. How cool is that?
So many of the best family days out are brutal on the purse aren’t they? So tickets or vouchers for big days out make great no clutter gifts. Any of the following are bound to go down a treat.
- Theme parks – most theme parks offer their own vouchers in small denominations less than the the price of a ticket, so you could get a few family members or friends to contribute. Some accept general gift vouchers, but then there’s the risk they get spent on STUFF!
- Go-karting – it’s so much fun and with a voucher kids can treat themselves to a longer session.
- Mega-trampolinging – brilliant fun for a rainy day. Give vouchers for your local jump park.
- Zip-trekking – for the brave at heart, zip trekking through the top of the forest is beyond cool! And places like Go Ape in the UK let you give gift vouchers for a specific experience or a certain amount of money.
- Extendible roller blades – these super cool blades (UK) make it onto the no clutter gift list BECAUSE they will last FIVE shoe sizes! So handed down through your kids they will get serious use rather than cluttering the hall outgrown after 6 months. My 7 year old hadn’t skated before using them and LOVED it! From our experience they are worth the money AND the space!
- Outdoor gear that grows with them – and if you’re looking for more stuff to last and last check out the genius extendible Deuter hiking backpack (UK). My tiny 7 year old can now carry her own camping stuff AND the clever frame will grow with her until she’s 14!
- A short course in their latest thing – if your kids are really getting into something, treat them to a short course that will have them flying. It could be anything from …
- Musical instrument
- Coding & Electronics
- A cool online course – if there aren’t good making courses near you, check out Jam. They offer online courses in everything from machine building and music to drawing and animation JUST for kids! They offer an annual subscription – which can be gifted – for $8 a month.
- Big, must see theatre show – we LOVED Matilda and can’t wait till Charlie & the Chocolate Factory comes back from New York BUT those ticket prices!! Definitely a good NO CLUTTER gift for grandparents and co to contribute to!
- Tickets for their favourite football team – and tickets for big football matches are as bad. Even at lowly West Ham – UP THE IRONS! – they’re £60+ a pop. SO again, a great NO clutter gift.
- Tickets for a big sporting event – and ditto any other big sporting event. Whatever your family is into, tickets are the perfect gift.
- Netflix subscription – I have to say this was one of our fave family presents this year, we totally loved brilliant new series like Lemony Snicket and Anne With An E. They really are high quality, sit-down-as-a-whole-family-to-watch TV. PLUS of course there’s movies and loads for grown ups.
- Museum membership – all the big museums do membership cards that get you into their special exhibitions. We have got the most use out of our national museum membership cards like English Heritage using it loads for days out and holidays
- An unforgettable adventure – pay for the whole family to do something totally unforgettable together. There’s bungee jumping, zip wiring, balloon rides, whale watching, steam train trips and much, much more available from experience day companies like
- Theme park season ticket – if you’ve got a local theme park your kids love, you can save loads over the year with a season ticket or annual pass. They’re typically just over the cost of 2 normal tickets. If you’re in the UK it’s worth looking at the Merlin Annual Pass which gets you into all sorts of big attractions although NOT on bank holidays!
- Spotify subscription – great sing along music is the BEST parenting tip I know for happier mornings and turning round bad days. With a Spotify subscription you can work your way through every Disney soundtrack and classic musical going WITHOUT the ads and the random Spotify choices
- Cinema membership – if your whole family loves the cinema, an annual membership can be a great deal. You get a bunch of free tickets PLUS discounts AND previews.
- Zoo membership – what kid doesn’t love the zoo? But it’s so much more fun to nip in for a few hours regularly rather than drag round for a day. So annual membership is a fab no clutter gift that really contributes to the zoo’s work.
So there you go … a BIG old list of no clutter presents for kids.
For more inspiration do dive into my other Christmas posts.
Or if you desperately NEED help decluttering do read THIS.
Oh and if you loved this list don’t forget to SAVE IT and SHARE IT ….